Belsko’s experiment in online advertising hits a snag
BELKOS, Ukraine — The Belkotic experiment with online advertising was supposed to start in January, but its first batch of ads was shown to about 2,000 Ukrainians in a crowded cafe in the center of the city of Belko.
The first ads, for beer and beer accessories, did not work well, and Belko’s main airport was closed.
Now, Belko is back on the map.
A month after its first experiment ended, Belkotias experiment is running again.
The Ukrainian government is hoping that its experiment, which involved sending out 2,500 emails to all Ukrainians, will help the economy recover from the devastating disruption of the Ukrainian revolution that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovych.
“This experiment was supposed the beginning of the rebuilding of the country,” said Yulia Chukhov, who is the mayor of the northern city of Kherson and a former head of the Presidential Council of the State Bank of Ukraine.
The economy suffered a major blow after Yanukovych fled to Russia, and the Ukrainian parliament and government failed to agree on the future of the state.
The revolution overthrew Yanukovych in 2014, and he was charged with crimes against the state, and subsequently jailed in Russia.
He fled to Belarus, where he died in prison in March.
Belarus has a population of about 2.5 million, and is a former Soviet republic.
In the first few weeks of the experiment, the city’s unemployment rate was higher than Belko, with nearly 30 percent of the population unemployed.
The experiment also ran into problems with the distribution of the money being sent to the Ukrainians.
It was not until December that the city started receiving its money, but the experiment had been delayed by months because of the financial crisis in Ukraine.
“When we received our money, we were not even able to send our first batch,” said Chukhova.
“The experiment was going very well and we thought we had enough money for the second batch, but that didn’t happen.”
Now, the state bank has asked for more money to cover the costs of sending out more than 5,000 emails to Ukraine.
According to Chukkhova, the bank has received about $1 million from Belko and plans to send another $500,000 to the city, to be distributed among residents.
The bank is hoping to start receiving more money soon.
“We hope to have enough money to send 500 emails,” said the city mayor.
Chukhlova said that the experiment has already been successful, but it is hard to know what the results of the second trial will be.
“There are no guarantees of success,” she said.
The state bank in Belko received some $1.5 billion in state funds to build a new branch in the city.
“Now we are preparing to send the money to other parts of the economy,” she told The Associated Press.
Chilukovych fled to Kazakhstan after his arrest in Russia, where prosecutors accuse him of illegally using state funds.
Belkots experiment with social media is still ongoing.
Belko residents and business owners are still trying to figure out how to deal with the aftermath of the revolution.
The city is not yet ready to reopen the airport, and some people say they cannot use their personal mobile phones, even if they are connected to a computer.
But Chukhsov said that is a small price to pay for a better life.
“People don’t have enough,” she added.
“Our lives are going to be better than before.
Now we are all in this together, and we can do anything together.”